Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open AccessExaminer’s finger-mounted fetal tissue oximetry
The best way to assess fetal condition is to observe the oxygen status of the fetus (as well as to assess the condition of infants, children, and adults). Previously, several fetal oximeters have been developed; however, no instrument has been utilized in clinical practice because of the low-capturing rate of the fetal oxygen saturation. To overcome the problem, we developed a doctor’s finger-mounted fetal tissue oximeter, whose sensor volume is one hundredth of the conventional one. Additionally, we prepared transparent gloves. The calculation algorithm of the hemoglobin concentration was derived from the light propagation analysis based on the transport theory. We measured neonatal and fetal oxygen saturation (StO2) with the new tissue oximeter. Neonatal StO2 was measured at any position of the head regardless of amount of hair. Neonatal StO2 was found to be around 77%. Fetal StO2 was detected in every position of the fetal head during labor regardless of the presence of labor pain. Fetal StO2 without labor pain was around 70% in the first stage of labor and around 60% in the second stage of labor. We concluded that our new concept of fetal tissue oximetry would be useful for detecting fetal StO2 in any condition of the fetus.